This clip is from an episode of How I Built This, a great podcast which interviews founders of well known companies. This episode focusses on Kickstarter, the crowdfunding platform.

This clip was selected to give you practice identifying redundancy in spoken English – all of those unnecessary extra words, phrases and mistakes that are a natural (but very confusing!) part of natural, spontaneous conversation.

, ... .
We were as we and, and that's ...that's as can do.
We were as fast as we and, and that's of as...that's as as you can do.

…and that’s kind of as

This dictation is a good example of a challenge that you will face very frequently when trying to understand native English speakers – redundancy.

Redundancy is basically anything that is unnecessary in a sentence. In spoken English, this can include repetition (e.g. and in this sentence is used twice), fillers (words or phrases that are used to fill silences, often to allow time for the speaker to think e.g. kind of in this dictation) and false starts (where a sentence or idea is begun and then abandoned (e.g. in this dictation: …that’s kind of as… ).

Redundancy is a completely natural feature of spontaneous spoken English (and other languages). The best thing that you can do is learn to recognise redundancy and ‘edit it out’ or ignore it to prevent it causing confusion. One way of doing this is to begin noticing common examples of redundancy (e.g. you knowkind ofsort of ).

This is an area that having a better understanding of individual words and phrases can be very useful – this will make it easier for you to identify redundancy and choose to ignore it. Over time, this will happen naturally and automatically.

Photo by Marc Sendra Martorell on Unsplash.


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